Ye Shiwen after the podium ceremony of the women's 200m individual medley final on July 31. (ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/GettyImages)
Say what you wish about Ye Shiwen, but the Chinese swimmer whose exploits have dominated talk in the early days of the games gave a remarkably polished performance at her press conference on Tuesday night.
A packed room listened intently on headphones to the translation of her answers to repeated questions about her thoughts and reaction to the storm of controversy about whether or not she is “clean”.
The press conference lasted about 20 minutes, and although a US swimmer shared the stage with her, pretty much all the questions were directed at the Chinese girl.
Ye is 16 years old, but came across as a veteran rather than a novice. No coaches, no minders, came between her and the media. That may not sound out of the ordinary, but four years ago at the Beijing Olympics they hovered around the press conferences to shield and protect the Chinese athletes, particularly the younger ones, from awkward probing by the media.
A referee urges Indonesian and South Korean teams to play fairly in their women's doubles match on July 31. (ADEK BERRY/AFP/GettyImages)
Is it ever worth trying to lose a game so that you can get a better position in the draw for the next round?
Clearly these women badminton players (two pairs from South Korea and one pair each from China and Indonesia) thought so at some brief, misguided moment on Tuesday; they now face a disciplinary hearing. We’ll be bringing you updates on this story as we get them throughout the day.
In the meantime, here are a few highlights from today’s schedule:
Rowing – The Team GB women’s pair of Helen Glover and Heather Stanning are hot favourites for a gold this morning, reports Ben Fenton. The UK men’s eight team are also tipped to win a medal, although they have to contend with a dominating German crew.
Swimming – After Michael Phelps’ record-breaking performance last night, attention will be back on the pool for the Men’s 100m freestyle final at 20.17.